TALES FROM THE CRYPT - AND ALL THROUGH THE HOUSE (1989)
John Kassir, Mary Ellen Trainor, Larry Drake, Marshall Bell, Lindsey Whitney Barry
Screenplay by: Fred Dekker
Directed by: Robert Zemeckis
Wife – “Merry Christmas you son of a bitch.”
Picture if you can a warm cosy house with Christmas decorations hanging from the ceiling and a tree dressed up perfectly in festive colours.Outside, the snow falls as if it’s dancing on the air and inside Nat King Cole sings about Jack Frost nipping at toes, whilst a plate of cookies and a letter is set out ready to greet Santa.Then picture a husband sat by the fire, reading a copy of Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, just before his wife bashes his head in with a poker from the fireplace.Managed all that?Well if you didn’t then the television show Tales From The Crypt did it for you in 1989 and after the wife had finished bashing her not so dearly beloveds brains out, she dragged his body outside into the snow to chuck the evidence down a well.Thing is she kind of hit a snag, because as she was busy moving her hubby outside she failed to hear about the escaped axe-murdering mental patient, who was in the local area dressed up like Santa.If having a nut with a deadly weapon on the loose wasn’t problem enough, not being able to call the police through fear of alerting them to what she had done to her husband, certainly was.
Like all good Tales From The Crypt stories, this was a morality tale, proving if you do something wrong then the chances are you will find yourself in a similar predicament, or simply put, it will come back to bite you on the bum.The situation for the Wife (Trainor) couldn’t have been foreseen, as having an escaped loon (Drake) with a Santa fetish in her back garden wasn’t the norm; but then killing her husband on Christmas Eve wasn’t a regular occurrence either.What it did prove was that Christmas was an ideal time to set a horror story, because in a way it’s when people are most vulnerable.Although the general feeling is that it’s a time for being merry and good willed to the fellowman, it’s also a time where people hope that things will get better, just because it’ s the season when magic is supposed to happen.Sometimes these can be misguided hopes which in the case of the Wife in this tale, was the hope that she would spend a new life with another man thanks to a bit of inheritance from killing her husband.The truth was this hope eventually cost her a great deal, as she soon found that the consequences of her actions proved life threatening for her and her daughter.So if this particular tale demonstrated anything it was that sometimes we can all have hopes and desires at Christmas, but we should remember they need to have certain restrictions, otherwise we should be careful of what we wish for, especially when psycho Santa comes to town.
CRYPTIC TALES: *Tales from the Crypt was based on a number of stories taken from comics published by EC comics, with one of them called Tales from the Crypt.The story, And All Through The House, was originally published in the comic The Vault of Horror.
*The news bulletin which announced the axe murderer was on the loose, mentioned that the police had issued an APB in the Gaines County area.The name was a nod to William M Gaines who was the publisher of EC Comics line of books.
*Danny Elfman composed the theme for Tales from the Crypt.Elfman also wrote themes for Batman (1989), Spider-man (2002), Hulk (2003) and the TV show The Simpsons.
*Many famous actors appeared on the show throughout its run, including Arnold Schwarzenegger, Demi Moore, Ewan McGregor and Whoopi Goldberg.There were also a number of notable directors including Michael J Fox, Robert Zemeckis and Richard Donner.
*The Tales from the Crypt TV series ran for seven seasons from 1989 – 1996 and also had three spin-off movies, an animated series and a kid’s game show.